As a sex coach, I sell my time, energy, attention and knowledge to assist clients to realize and express their full sexuality. This is service work, and I feel myself in deep service to my people. And there is something inside of me that resists the conflation of money and sex.
What started as a simple question of “What does success mean to me?” has spiraled into an intense reckoning with my personal integrity about being someone who markets sexuality.
It’s the commodification of Eros that disturbs me.
Do I want to have a big fat bank account? You bet. Do I want to put a price tag on your orgasms so that I can have that? Not a chance. Selling sexual empowerment for big bucks sit wrong with me. I have no doubt that people can really benefit from participating in such programs, so then why do they make me feel gross?
When I sink in, I realize I feel ever so protective of our Eros. Of that magick, fluid energy we humans feel inside of us, that lights us on fire. That mysterious force that can enlighten our whole lives.
Recently, I watched an fMRI of a woman’s brain as she orgasmed. At the moment of orgasm, her entire brain was alight with oxygen. Her. Entire. Brain. Imagine what would happen if we were consistently using our entire brains? It’s not too far of a mental leap to think (okay maybe it is, but it’s fun to consider) that having more orgasms as a species quickens our evolution. Eros, friends, is a biological force that deserves homage, and not commodification.
The sexual empowerment model for sale subtly reinforces that sexual power is “out there.” You must claim it, as if you do not inherently possess it. It’s kinda like “getting religion.” (Commodification of spirituality also raises ethical questions for me.) If sexual empowerment is not within you already, you are fucked, but not in a good way. And if you’re not sexually empowered, you are what? Sexually disempowered?
In contrast, let us reframe with a “remembering” model. You know, the one where we remember who we truly are. Instead of focusing on sexual empowerment and erotic mastery, I choose to recall my sensual nature, the one I was born with. The pleasure-seeking self that was entranced by the play of light on water, or wind through leaves. We can choose call into being our sexual wholeness, to invite home our erotic personage. And I don’t think it’s bullshit to have a companion on that path of remembering, paid or otherwise.
It’s also not bullshit to desire a degree of mastery in the realm of sexuality, and to seek teaching from those slightly ahead on the path. Teachers have invested lots of time, money and energy into the wisdom they possess, and paying for solid teaching feels just fine.
There are two deceptively simple free resources are the actual building blocks of evolving personal sexuality. The necessary ingredients for erotic success are dedicating enough time to exploration and practice, and building the capacity to hold your attention where you place it in the body.
Slightly more difficult to come by but readily available are an attitude of curious exploration, and a beginner’s mind. The price of both is the unknown. No, I mean for reals. Like, stepping into the not knowing, and giving up the security and comfort of all that you ‘know’ about yourself as a sexual being. In the not knowing, you become available for all manner of unexpected surprises. Scary as hell.
I don’t have any answers yet to my philosophical quandaries. I’m not sure how to reconcile my desire for financial success, my desire to serve my people and their sexuality, and my desire for Eros to be protected from further commodification. But my commitment to transparency includes delving into the questions that making me uncomfortable, and offering the process as a gift. I’ll update you once I know more.
But for now, a little magickal spell casting.Here’s my anarchist, synergistic view of how I want things to work, that’s actually backed by evolutionary history. Species that cooperate, survive.
So, I do my part, you do yours. Interdependence is real and necessary. We all need each other to help us live to our fullest potential. Working together, we accomplish more than working against one another. By allowing myself to be vulnerable by needing you, I am strong.
My part is that I think and write about sex and relationships. I compile resources, and distill the wisdom of many sources, and give it to you in a cogent form, for your benefit. Your part is to do the work of your soul and your heart, and share the gems with me. We don’t all have to do all the things.